Real Madrid vs SC Braga Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Real Madrid will look to seal a spot in the knockout stages of the 2023/24 Champions League season when they host SC Braga on Matchday 4.

Bellingham trained as normal ahead of Madrid's tie vs Braga.

Real Madrid will look to keep their eight-match unbeaten run intact when they host Portuguese club SC Braga at the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blancos are just a point away from qualification, while the visitors will need a positive result to keep their faith in their own hands in the final two rounds of fixtures.

The Merengues’ only defeat of the season came at the hands of Atletico Madrid towards the end of September. Apart from that poor outing against city rivals, the team in white has done quite well in the ongoing season. They are currently top of their Champions League group, with three wins in three matches. And a draw will ensure their spot in the next round.

Real Madrid recently defeated Barcelona in El Clasico but post that, they played out a frustrating draw against Rayo Vallecano. Carlo Ancelotti’s men took 22 shots on goal and had the majority of the ball. However, they still could not make it count. Heading into this fixture, they will be looking to return to winning ways.

SC Braga have had a decent start to the new season, and they are currently fourth in their league, with 20 points out of their 10 matches. The Portuguese club have won six, drawn two and lost two games in the league. In their last league outing, they dominated the opposition and came out on top with a scoreline of 6-1.

Despite losing the reverse fixture a few weeks back, Braga will be confident of getting a positive result against the most successful team in Champions League history. The Portuguese club are in desperate need of points to stay alive in the race for the knockout rounds as they only have three points out of their three games in the group stage.

Both teams will look for all three points when they square up against each other and it will be an interesting match for sure. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look and tries to predict the tactics they could use in this outing.

Team News & Tactics

Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti will be without the services of Aurelien Tchouameni, Thibaut Courtois, and Eder Militao. Meanwhile, the availability of Dani Ceballos is still doubtful, and Ferland Mendy is expected to be back in the mix for this fixture.

While Jude Bellingham will most likely be a part of the squad, he might start on the bench for this fixture after having picked up a knock in their last outing. With Bellingham likely to be rested, Los Blancos could make a major change to their formation.

They could go ahead with the 4-3-3 formation for this fixture, with Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal. Despite the return of Ferland Mendy, Fran Garcia and Dani Carvajal are expected to continue as the full-backs. Meanwhile, in the heart of the defence, David Alaba should pair up with Antonio Rudiger.

Eduardo Camavinga will take care of the defensive side of things in the centre of the park, and he will have the support of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. The veteran duo could start together in this fixture. Meanwhile, Federico Valverde could feature on the right flank with Vinicius Junior taking charge on the left. And, Rodrygo Goes could be leading the line for the Spanish giants.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kepa; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Garcia; Kroos, Camavinga, Modric; Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius

Real Madrid vs SC Braga Predicted XI

SC Braga

The visitors do not have any fresh injuries to report. They will have a full squad available for this fixture, with Victor Gomez making his return in their last outing.

The Portuguese club will stick to the 4-2-3-1 formation, where Matheus will be in goal. Joe Mendes and Cristian Borja will be the full-backs. With Real Madrid expected to shift to a 4-3-3, things could get very difficult for Mendes and Borja, who will have to try and shut down Los Blancos’ wingers.

In the heart of the defence, veteran defender Jose Fonte will pair up with Sikou Niakate. The duo will aim for a clean sheet against one of the strongest teams in Europe. Rodrigo Zalazar and Al-Musrati will form the double pivot in the centre of the park. They will look to help out their defence and ensure that Real Madrid do not end up dominating the ball too deep in their half.

Alvaro Djalo and Bruma will start out wide on the flanks. The duo will provide width to their attacks and they will also look to help out their full-backs by doubling up on Real Madrid’s wide players. Meanwhile, Ricardo Horta will feature as the attacking midfielder, and he will look to create chances for Simon Banza who will be leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Matheus; Mendes, Fonte, Niakate, Borja; Al-Musrati, Zalazar; Djalo, R. Horta, Bruma; Banza

Real Madrid vs SC Braga Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Real Madrid and SC Braga are all set to square up against each other for the second time.
  • The first outing between the two teams took place two weeks back as Los Blancos won that fixture 2-1 at the Estadio Municipal de Braga.
  • Real Madrid have been unbeaten in their last eight games. Their last and only defeat of the season back against Atletico Madrid on 25 September.
  • Portugal’s SC Braga are heading into this fixture on the back of a thumping 6-1 victory.

Player to Watch

Eduardo Camavinga

Camavinga might be just 20, but he is amongst the most important players for Carlo Ancelotti in this Real Madrid team. The French international’s versatility has helped save Los Blancos on multiple occasions and with Aurelien Tchouameni out injured, all eyes will be on Camavinga who will most likely have the role of a defensive midfielder.

The 20-year-old already has 15 appearances this season, and he has been doing wonders for them. He is expected to start in this home game and could end up playing a big role in helping his team clinch all three points.

Prediction

Real Madrid 3-0 SC Braga

Real Madrid came out on top in the last meeting between the two teams, and they are expected to dominate the proceedings this time around as well. They might be heading into this fixture on the back of a draw, but they are still favourites to win.

Meanwhile, SC Braga are heading into this fixture on the back of a 6-1 win despite that they do not seem to have enough firepower in their ranks to cause an upset against Real Madrid. The Hard Tackle predicts an easy 3-0 win at home for Carlo Ancelotti’s team.

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